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Appeals and tribunals

Once you have registered your appeal

Once you have sent your appeal to the SEND tribunal you will receive a registration letter. This should be within 10 working days, but may take longer at busy times. The registration letter will have your appeal reference number and key dates for your appeal.

The key dates will include:

  • when the local authority must respond to your appeal
  • the deadline for sending in further evidence
  • when you must send back your attendance form
  • your hearing date

Both parties must comply with the Tribunals orders, so we advise that you set reminders in your calendar for these key dates. 

The SEND Tribunal Service also notifies the local authority of your appeal, including a copy of your appeals form and any documents that you have submitted as part of your appeal. The local authority has 30 working days to respond to your appeal. This is called the 'first response'. It will be sent to you and the tribunal service.

Both parties must copy each other into all tribunal communications sent to the SEND Tribunal once the appeal has been registered. You should include your case number in all tribunal communications. your registration documents will show you how to do this.

Once you have the registration letter, we advise that you start to organise you evidence for the hearing, and consider witnesses. the hearing date will be around 12 weeks after your appeal was registers. All refusal to assess appeals are paper hearings unless you have requested an oral hearing.

If you are making a contents appeal you will need to discuss the changes you want made to the EHCP with the local authority. An EHCP working document is used for negotiation with the local authority so that as many agreements can be made before the hearing or full agreement can be reached.

The tribunal service expect the local authority to work with you up until the hearing date to find a resolution. This isn't always possible, but we can support you to negotiate with the local authority throughout the process.

The EHCP working document and all the evidence which has been submitted to the SEND tribunal (from yourself and from the local authority) is made into a 'bundle'. It is the local authority's responsibility to prepare the bundle and send a copy to yourself and the tribunal. The bundle will be the focus of the hearing, so it is important that you have included any evidence you will rely on, and are familiar with the whole bundle.